Oct 22, 2021 4:55 AM
tintin is going to have a time
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Asthirin-Tinviar-Lirill trots into his assigned suite. Oh good, there's a grass dome for him! He trots towards it eagerly and tucks his legs under him, enjoying the feeling of soft grass against his fur. He sways back and forth gently, his front-eyes closed and his stalks waving lackadaisically in no particular search pattern. A man could get used to this.

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A gravelly voice yelps "What the fuck!" in what is recognizably a Hork-Bajir dialect, and, indeed, the body attached to the voice is a female Hork-Bajir, standing in the doorway looking flabbergasted.

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Asthirin startles. His stalks swivel towards the voice, and then his head turns sharply, and his tail stands on end. <What the fuck!> he agrees.

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"Somebody thinks they're playing a very funny joke and I am going to find them and—" She cuts herself off abruptly, or perhaps is cut off abruptly. "Yes, all right, fine, no making graphic threats of violence in front of the Andalite, fair and reasonable." She cocks her head at the Andalite. "Hi there. Pel Tarjet. Absolutely terrible to meet you. I heard the same line you presumably did about it being impossible to permanently damage a fellow student but I'm not sure I believed it so if you start a fight I guarantee you we will both have a very bad time whether or not the school's medical facilities manage to rescue us afterward."

This is... altogether considerably more articulate than your average Hork-Bajir-Controller. Also, that was a Hork-Bajir name.

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Asthirin boggles! That was indeed very articulate, and that was indeed a Hork-Bajir name, and -

not important. He is being rude. With the control over his natural reactions afforded him by long years of training and morph, he withdraws his tail from its locked and upright position and sets his stalks to swiveling more appropriately.

 <I have no intention of harming a fellow student,> he says only a little bit stiffly. <Given the nature of this institution, I imagine I had best get used to... things that do not accord with my cultural mores. My name is Asthirin-Tinviar-Lirill. What about your - friend?>

He does his best to keep connotations of slavery and horror out of the thought-particle <friend>, with limited success. One of his stalks twitches. <Sorry.>

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She laughs. "Oh, did you want to meet Tillin? I'm getting the sense that you don't want to meet Tillin." A brief pause. "I'm not saying hi for you like this is an interstellar comm call, if you want to talk to the Andalite come out here and do it your own damn self."

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Asthirin's eyestalks twitch again. <I - did not mean to cause offense. It is difficult to avoid imparting undue connotations over Thoughtspeech.>

Suddenly, his flesh begins to boil - there's a horrible sound, which looks much worse -

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- and a naked human kneels, slightly damp, where Asthirin sat.

"There. Now we can speak like civilized -"

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"What the fuck was that?!" squeaks a tiny voice from the doorway.

The speaker is a three-foot-tall chitin-skinned manikin, wearing a large ivory mask and a pleated skirt.

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"Oh you're so soft and squishy," says Pel, slightly dismayed. "That's a human, right? No wonder they wear so many unnecessary clothes if that's what it's like underneath. I almost want to ask if you want to acquire me just so you don't have to be so," she waves a bladed hand, "grublike, but I feel like it would if anything be even weirder to talk to a clone of myself." She glances over at the teeny bug person. "Hello, who are you? I like your face."

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"Thank you I made it myself what the fuck was that?"

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Asthirin sighs. "I morphed from my native form into a human, which is by all accounts an unpleasant process to witness, because I imagined my companion had seen worse, and did not consider that the door was open. I apologize. And I rather like this form, actually - though possibly I should find some clothing, in case the next person to enter is human and easily scandalized."

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The next person to enter is (seemingly) human, and the first words out of her mouth are, "Oh! Is that a penis? It's so charmingly peculiar!"

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"Isn't it just," Asthirin sighs. "-now that we all appear to be here, shall we introduce ourselves? Perhaps with an icebreaker - some kind of fun fact - I'm Asthirin-Tinviar-Lirill, any of you can feel free to call me Asthirin, and she's going to be tense around me because my species attempted to wipe hers out several decades ago, and probably for other reasons too, what fun. That's not my fun fact, my fun fact is that I'm a morph-dancer."

He grows a pair of cat ears, then ungrows them. This is significantly less disgusting than the full morph was.

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"...I'm Hornet. I don't think any of the species my father attempted to wipe out are present in this room, thankfully. I... um. I'm not sure what categorizes a fact as 'fun'."

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"I'm Pel Tarjet and the parasitic brain slug in my head is Tillin," Pel says cheerfully. "Say hi, Tillin."

Her body language shifts fairly dramatically, from an easy open stance to something more drawn-in and closed-off and careful and deliberate. "Hello, everyone. I... don't know that there are any fun facts about me."

The shift back is just as obvious. "Well my fun fact is that I'm the smartest member of my species because we were genetically engineered to be dumb as rocks, and if Tillin doesn't come up with a fun fact before we're done making the rounds I'm going to pick one for her and it's going to be hilarious. To me." (Her body language shifts back for a moment but only someone familiar with Hork-Bajir facial expressions would catch that Tillin was performing the equivalent of an affectionately long-suffering eyeroll.)

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"My name is Bird! I picked it myself! Why is it called an icebreaker? My fun fact is that I used to need to eat sapient brains to survive and now I don't anymore! I think that's very fun!"

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"Oh, you're a sage, that's fascinating - I really thought you were legendary! Um. I admit to being morbidly curious about your fun fact. Also that was very good, Bird, I think not having to eat sapient brains to survive is very fun."

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"Despite my lack of personal stake in the matter, I think I agree," Hornet comments.

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"Lack of personal stake? Do you not have a brain?" she wonders. "That's so interesting, how does that work?"

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"I'm not entirely sure what a brain is, so I'm afraid I don't have much information for you."

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"You look - a bit like some kind of bipedal insect? So it's possible that like your smaller cousins you never felt the need to evolve one, and get by with only your central and peripheral nervous systems. And possibly magic, I don't want to discount magic, a bug your size really should not be able to exist in this atmosphere."

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Hornet shrugs. "I'm definitely a bug. ...almost certainly a bug. My mother was a spider, and if my father pulled some kind of horseshit then I'd expect to know about it."

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"I cannot possibly be providing you with novel information when I tell you that you are not a spider."

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"No. But I think I'm still a bug of some kind."

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"You do look sort of buggy," Pel agrees. "Anyway, Tillin's fun fact is that she's a revolutionary."

Shift to Tillin. "I still don't think that's very fun."

Back to Pel, who just snorts with amusement.

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